Cerro Gordo County

Lt. John Decker





Iowans In Italy Receive Awards

By Frank Miles

With the Fifth Army in Italy (IDPA) -- [excerpt]

2nd Lt. John Decker, of Mason City, was promoted from staff sergeant in the 133rd infantry in recognition of his outstanding fighting ability. He has the silver star fro gallantry in action, the combat infantryman badge, two stars on his European theater ribbon and a good conduct medal. Two brothers are overseas: Sgt. Joseph, in the Aleutian Islands and Pfc. Raymond, in the air forces in England.

Source: Mount Pleasant News, February 14, 1945

Captured 11 Germans Alone; Received Silver Star Award

Lt. John Decker Forced the Men to Surrender From Cave; Italian Front

Making a reconnaissance alone and capturing 11 Germans by himself is how 2nd Lt. John Decker, recently awarded the silver star for gallantry in action, won that award, according to the citation accompanying the decoration. Serving on the 5th army front in Italy, Lt. Decker is a member of the 34th "Red Bull" infantry division.

"While making a reconnaissance alone," the award citation related, "Decker suddenly came upon 4 German soldiers seated on the ground in front of a cave. Quickly covering them with his carbine, he approached them and the trapped men stood up and surrendered.

"One of them called out in German to comrades in the cave. The lieutenant moved to a position where he could cover both his prisoners and the mouth of the cave. As 7 more Germans came running out Decker took them unawares and then marched all 11 back to his command post."

Lt. Decker was recently commissioned from the rank of staff sergeant. He is the son of Frank Decker, 1627 President N.W., and entered the service with the national guard in 1941.

Source: The Mason City Globe-Gazette, February 16, 1945 (photo included)